Well, it was nice to take a few days off! I've got a lot of reading to catch up on, but first, as per tradition, we must look at the year ahead to see what goods Lady Cinema has in store for us.
Norse god becomes Marvel superhero.
DR: Kenneth Branagh (ahahaha)
WR: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz & Don Payne, from a story by J. Michael Straczynski & Mark Protosevich, adapted from the comic book by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby
STARS: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard
This is...I just have to see it. I think it looks terrible, but I just have to see if it's real.
Retired rocker hunts down the Nazi war criminal that killed his father.
DR: Paolo Sorrentino
WR: Sorrentino & Umberto Contarello
STARS: Hollmann Award Nominee Sean Penn, Hollmann Award Nominee Frances McDormand
What kind of lunatic sees a premise like this with a picture like that and doesn't rush out to see this movie? No irony here, it just seems awesome.
23. Cowboys & Aliens
Sci-fi western. Kind of self-explanatory.
DR: Jon Favreau
WR: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof, adapted from the graphic novel by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg
STARS: Hollmann Award Nominee Paul Dano, Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford
The next couple of entries will make it clear that I am a sucker for blockbusters. It's the boy in me. Awesome trailer!
22. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
DR: Rob Marshall
WR: Ted Elliot & Ted Rossio, from characters created by Elliot, Rossio, Stuart Beattie & Jay Wolpart, suggested by the novel On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers
STARS: Hollmann Award Nominee Johnny Depp, Hollmann Award Nominee Penelope Cruz, Hollmann Award Nominee Judi Dench, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane
It looks like a damn good time. The addition of Cruz and Dench to the cast makes me giddy. Giddy, I say!
21. Captain America: The First Avenger
DR: Joe Johnston
WR: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely & Joss Whedon, adapted from the comic book by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby
STARS: Hollmann Award Nominee Samuel L. Jackson, Hollmann Award Nominee Stanley Tucci, Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones, Toby Jones
This is purely based on my love for this cast. Look at that group. Tucci, Jones and Jones!
20. QuartetFour retired opera singers prepare for their annual tribute to Verdi.
DR: Dustin Hoffman
WR: Ronald Harwood, adapted from his play
STARS: Albert Finney, Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay
The directorial debut of Dustin Hoffman is intriguing on its own, but the return of my favorite actress, two-time Academy Award Winner Dame Maggie Smith, to a starring role is too delicious to be believed.
19. Scream 4A new Ghostface wreaks havoc on Sydney and co.
DR: Wes Craven
WR: Kevin Williamson
STARS: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Emma Roberts, Mary McDonnell, Hayden Panettiere
Well, I'm no Glenn Dunks, but I do love the Scream franchise.
18. The Best Exotic Marigold HotelEnsemble about a retirement home in Bangalore.
DR: John Madden
WR: Ol Parker & Deborah Moggach, adapted from the novel by Moggach
STARS: Hollmann Award Nominee Bill Nighy, Hollmann Award Nominee Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Dev Patel
Oh my god oh my god Dench and Smith together again for the first time in six years oh my god pinch me!
17. War Horse
DR: Steven Spielberg
WR: Lee Hall & Richard Curtis, adapted from the novel by Michael Morpurgo
STARS: Emily Watson, Peter Mullan, David Kross, David Thewlis, Toby Kebbell, Niels Arestrup
I read the play adaptation by Nick Stafford and was deeply moved. I can't wait to see Mullan in this; his was my favorite character.
16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
DR: David Yates
WR: Steve Kloves, adapted from the novel by J.K. Rowling
STARS: Hollmann Award Nominee Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ciaran Hinds, Maggie Smith
I didn't expect Part I to be that spectacular. Egg on my face. Ciaran Hinds, one of my favorite actors, joins the cast, and oh look! Maggie Smith!
15. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
DR: Steven Spielberg
WR: Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish, adapted from the comic book by Herge
STARS: Jamie Bell, Simon Pegg, Daniel Craig, Toby Jones, Andy Serkis, Nick Frost
See, it doesn't matter what the plot is. I watched the television show on Nickelodeon when I was a kid, because it was awesome. So here I am, super excited for a mo-cap adventure directed by one of the greats. Bring it! On!
DR: Jim Field Smith
WR: Jason A. Micallef
STARS: Jennifer Garner, Hugh Jackman, Alicia Silverstone, Yara Shahidi, Ashley Greene, Olivia Wilde
I hear that all this is a metaphor for the last presidential Democratic primaries. If so, turning it into a butter-carving competition is quite inventive. Alicia Silverstone is another actress whose comeback I'm championing, by the way.
13. Sucker Punch
WR: Snyder & Steve Shibuya, from a story by Snyder
STARS: Hollmann Award Nominee Abbie Cornish, Emily Browning, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Carla Gugino, Jon Hamm
I can't wait to find out just what the hell those awesome trailers are advertising! Snyder: I love your work. Always.
12. Everybody Loves Whales
DR: Ken Kwapis
WR: Jack Amiel & Michael Begler
STARS: Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Kristen Bell, Ted Danson
The most beautiful woman in showbiz is finally working with Krasinski, who should be the go-to guy for leading man roles. Always.
11. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
DR: Hollmann Award Nominee David Fincher
WR: Steven Zaillian, adapted from the novel by Stieg Larsson
STARS: Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard, Robin Wright
1) Two of these casting choices are perfect. 2) The Swedish film is...imperfect. If only it had a solid, masterful director who is adept at both thrillers and human dramas OH LOOK DAVID FINCHER. Ace.
10. Hugo Cabret
DR: Hollmann Award Nominee Martin Scorsese
WR: Hollmann Award Nominee John Logan, adapted from the novel by Brian Selznick
STARS: Hollmann Award Winner Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Christopher Lee, Emily Mortimer, Jude Law, Ben Kingsley
9. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
DR: Tomas Alfredson
George Smiley seeks a Russian agent within MI6 during the Cold War.
WR: Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan, adapted from the novel by John le Carre
STARS: Hollmann Award Nominee Gary Oldman, Hollmann Award Nominee Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Ciaran Hinds, Mark Strong
They're making me wait for another Bond, so I have to get my sophisticated British espionage fix from somewhere. Oldman getting the rare lead role is a nice bonus, as is the inclusion of Hinds. I love Ciaran Hinds.
8. The Iron Lady
DR: Phyllida Lloyd
WR: Abi Morgan
STARS: Hollmann Award Winner Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent
British politics and Meryl Streep, from the director of Mamma Mia!. I am intrigued.
7. Jane Eyre
DR: Cary Fukunaga
WR: Moira Buffini, adapted from the novel by Charlotte Bronte
STARS: Hollmann Award Winner Sally Hawkins, Hollmann Award Nominee Judi Dench, Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell
I hate the book, but I tend to like adaptations of it. Go figure! The Dench beckons...
6. Water for Elephants
DR: Frances Lawrence
WR: Richard Lagravenese, adapted from the novel by Sara Gruen
STARS: Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz, Hal Holbrook
Maybe it was the use of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis's score from The Assassination of Jesse James. Maybe it's the cinematography. Maybe it's the fact that I just like to watch Hal Holbrook. I don't know what it is, but that trailer did its job, and now I eagerly await this movie's release.
5. The Help
DR: Tate Taylor
WR: Taylor, adapted from the novel by Kathryn Stockett
STARS: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Allison Janney, Sissy Spacek, Cicely Tyson
I love all of these women, and stories that take place in the South. It's nice to see Tyson getting away from the Tyler Perry movies -- I mean, I love love love his movies, but it'd be disheartening to think he was the only director making use of her talent.
DR: Steven Soderbergh
WR: Scott Z. Burns
STARS: Hollmann Award Winner Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law
People. Do I have to explain my love of large all-star casts? I feel like its clear at this point on the list.
3. The Ides of March
DR: George Clooney
WR: Clooney & Grant Heslov, adapted from the play by Beau Willimon
STARS: Hollmann Award Nominee Ryan Gosling, Hollmann Award Nominee Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Paul Giamatti, George Clooney
Clooney returns to directing in a drama that sounds right up his alley. I am so excited about the cast, the material, Clooney, everything!
2. My Week with Marilyn
DR: Simon Curtis
WR: Adrian Hodges, adapted from the memoir by Colin Clark
STARS: Hollmann Award Nominee Judi Dench, Eddie Redmayne, Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Watson
Call me a sucker for an Old Hollywood tale. No, really, do it. You'd be right!
1. Midnight in Paris
DR/WR: Woody Allen
STARS: Hollmann Award Winner Marion Cotillard, Michael Sheen, Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Alison Pill
Early set photos made it look like a 20s-set film, and I think Allen always excels in period pieces. Hell, I love The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, don't understand at all the hate against it. He's one of my favorite filmmakers of all time, definitely my favorite screenwriter, and this looks like one of the strongest ensembles he's assembled.